New yarn could be future battery pack

Conductive yarn textile

US-based private research institution Drexel University, in association with US Naval Academy, has developed a “capacitive yarn”. It is expected to find application as wearable energy packs in combination with solar cells.

The yarn is created by “natural fiber welding” of activated carbon-impregnated cotton fiber or other cellulose fiber and stainless steel yarn.

The production of the yarn begins with bathing the natural yarn in molten salt. The yarn swells. Activated carbon particles are infused into the yarn at this stage following which it is washed with plain water. This shrinks the yarn back into its original shape.

The stainless steel yarn is twisted with the natural fiber and then knitted to create the fabric. The steel increases the conductivity of the fiber and makes it a storehouse of energy. Researchers vouch that the fabric won’t irritate skin opening avenues for its application in the fashion industry.

For the US navy, the key advantage the textile offers is that it will help shed a lot of weight as a wearable battery pack. It should be especially good for the US Marine Corps whose work involves diving.

Combined with solar cells the storage textile can turn out to be a complete energy on-the-go system.

Ajith Kumar S